Khairy: AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine dosing interval shortened to nine weeks from 12

A man receives the AstraZeneca Covid-19 jab at Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur May 5, 2021. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
A man receives the AstraZeneca Covid-19 jab at Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur May 5, 2021. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

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KUALA LUMPUR, July 1 — The dosing interval for the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine has been shortened to nine weeks from the initial 12, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister, Khairy Jamaluddin said.

Taking to Twitter, the coordinating minister for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme said that recipients of the vaccine under the first opt-in round would be notified of their second appointments soon.

“Based on the recommendation from our Technical Working Group & with greater clarity of the delivery schedule, JKJAV has decided to shorten the dosing interval for AZ from 12 to nine weeks.

“Those who participated in the first round of AZ will be notified of their 2nd appt soon,” he posted. JKJAV is the initials for the Special Committee on Ensuring Access to Covid-19 Vaccine Supply.

Malaysia had earlier today received one million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine donated by Japan to further intensify the vaccination process under the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (NIP), national news agency, Bernama reported.

Those present to witness the arrival were Japan’s Ambassador to Malaysia, Hiroshi Oka, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

Bernama reported that with the contribution, Malaysia has received a total of 1,828,000 doses of the AZ vaccine to date.

Last month, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba said that the ministry is studying whether the time interval for the second AstraZeneca vaccine dose can be shortened from 12 weeks to six weeks, national news agency Bernama reported.

He reportedly said that this would depend on expert reports on the Covid-19 situation in the country, and whether the vaccine recipients require maximum protection from the second dose more quickly.

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